Just about to start this job myself..according to the haynes manual you have to remove the radiator support brackets, exhaust downpipes, and a load of other bits, and i just found out i have a 1996 engine in my 97 model.... it looks quite a complicated job so i think i may garage it. btw if the radiator bottom gaurd is secured by rivets you will have to drill them out.
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If it became stiff over time, the most reasonable thing to assume is a problem with the Power Steering System: Check the fluid level, if that's fine then the power steering pump may be failing. Before you waste your money on a garage repair, try flushing your old power steering fluid by removing the bottom hose to drain the fluid or use a pressure evacuator to remove it, then put the hose back on and refill it with your engine running in order to turn the pump and run the fliud through. If all else fails, replace the pump.
If your steering become stiff for just a moment while your driving, your pump can be failing just like above. Have it inspected before your replace it.
Fig. 2: A few special tools are required to remove and install the pulley on the power steering pump
Disconnect the negative battery cable.
Remove the accessory drive belt.
Remove the alternator.
Drain and remove the radiator coolant recovery reservoir.
Position a drain pan under the power steering pump underneath the
vehicle. Disconnect the hydraulic pressure and return lines and allow to
Remove the idler pulley from the power steering pump support.
Remove the bracket mounting bolt located under the belt tensioner mounting.
Remove 2 retaining nuts from the bracket mounting studs. Remove
both mounting studs, and pull off the power steering pump support with
the pump attached.
Clamp the pump support bracket in a suitable vise.
Remove the power steering pump pulley from the pump shaft using
Pump Pulley Remover T69L-10300-B, or equivalent. Remove the 3 bolts
retaining the power steering pump to the power steering pump support and
remove the power steering pump.
Install the power steering pump to the power steering pump support.
Install the power steering pump pulley using Steering Pump Pulley
Replacer T65P-3A733-C, or equivalent; the pulley face must be flush
within 0.010 inch (0.25mm) of the pump shaft.
Install the power steering pump/pump support and torque nuts/bolt to 17-24 ft. lbs. (23-32 Nm).
Complete the installation by reversing the removal procedure.
Fill the power steering reservoir with power steering fluid.
Connect the negative battery cable.
Run the engine and check for leaks and proper operation. Bleed the power steering system if needed.
GM Astro/Safari 1985-1996 Repair Guide
Power Steering Pump - REMOVAL & INSTALLATION (see
Figures 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7)
Fig. 1: Exploded view of the power steering pump assembly
Fig. 2: Exploded view of the power steering pump assembly
mounting-early-model 4.3L engine
Fig. 3: Removing the power steering pump pulley-1985-92
Fig. 4: Installing the power steering pump pulley
Fig. 5: Pump pulley removal and installation-1993-96 vehicles
Fig. 6: Exploded view of the power steering pump
mounting-late-model 4.3L engines (1993-96 shown)
Fig. 7: Typical power steering pump hose routing-1996 shown
The following procedure requires the use of the GM Puller tool No.
J-29785-A (1985-92), Puller J-25034-B (1993-96) or equivalent, and the
GM Pulley Installer tool No. J-25033-B or equivalent.
Disconnect the negative battery cable for safety.
For 1996 vehicles, remove the air cleaner assembly for access.
For 1993-96 vehicles, remove the hood latch and the upper fan
Release tension and remove the drive belt.
Remove the power steering pump pulley using a suitable puller
Remove the power steering pump retaining bolts, then reposition
the pump as necessary for access to the hoses.
Position a fluid catch pan under the power steering pump.
Remove the hoses from the power steering pump and drain the excess
fluid into the catch pan.
Be sure to cap all openings in the pump hydraulic system to
prevent excessive fluid spillage and the possibility of system
Remove the power steering pump from the vehicle.
Position the pump to the vehicle, then uncap and connect the pump
Install the steering pump to the retaining bracket, then secure
using the retaining bolts. Tighten the power steering pump-to-bracket
bolts to 37 ft. lbs. (50 Nm). For 1996 vehicles, tighten the nut to 30
ft. lbs. (41 Nm).
On early-model vehicles where the drive belt is tensioned by pivoting
the power steering pump assembly, do NOT fully tighten the mounting
bolts at this time, since you will just have to loosen them again for
belt installation and adjustment.
Install the pump pulley using the GM Pulley Installer tool No.
J-25033-B or equivalent. Press the drive pulley onto the power steering
Hand-tighten the pivot bolt, the adjusting bolt and the washer.
Install the drive belt. On early-model vehicles so
equipped, properly adjust the belt tension. For details on belt
installation and tension adjustment.
For 1993-96 vehicles install the upper fan shroud and the hood
For 1996 vehicles, install the air cleaner assembly.
Connect the negative battery cable.
Refill the power steering reservoir and bleed the power steering
Remove the jackstands and carefully lower the vehicle.
Road test the vehicle, then check and top-off the power steering
hope this help (remember rated this post) Good luck.
You have too remove the alternator, tensioner pulley, and probably would help to disconnect the power steering hose too give you a little more room too work. Now getting the pulley off the water pump is always the pain, see if you can loosen those bolts before removing the tension on the serpentine belt. If not try using a rubber oil filter remover to hold while you loosen the bolts.